Dismal and cold, like a November day—except for the daffodils, the field sparrow’s rising trill, the red maple blossoms about to burst.

A pair of phoebes flutter under the porch eaves, see me and the dog and retreat to a nearby branch. The first daffodils nod in the breeze.

Warmer, and the daffodils have once more managed to stand up. There goes the meter-reader’s white pickup, topped by a flashing orange light.

An inch of new snow and a bitter wind. Daffodils droop like old balloons. A white-throated sparrow’s song pauses and resumes one octave up.

The daffodils laid low by wind and cold are slowly righting themselves in the strong sunlight. From the east, the sound of heavy machinery.

The first daffodils are in bloom in the cool sunlight, facing in all directions from a tight huddle. The neighbors’ rooster crows and crows.

Overcast and breezy. The daffodils are beginning to droop like old balloons. A black-throated green warbler sings once and moves on.